Two years ago i visited the beautiful island of Ios and i had the best guide there, my friend Nadia!
Locals call it Nios, and except from her “party island” side that is known for, you can actually have the most relaxing vacations ever! I loved waking up in the morning and getting lost in the alleys that surround the picturesque and characteristic hill, ending at the highest point, Panagia Gkremniotissa, where any doubt about the beauty of the island is dissolved. The architecture of Ios is typically Cycladic, cubic houses with colorful windows and doors, which are separated by narrow streets with arches. Spectacular views, especially at sunset, you can enjoy from the Museum Gaitis-Simosis. The museum, dream life for the family of the great painter, though completed in 2008 still hasn’t functioned. A few steps down from the museum is situated an open theater dedicated to Odysseas Elytis, with spectacular views of the Mylopotas beach.
The beaches: The cosmopolitan Mylopotas, Magganari of the “Big Blue”, the natural harbor of Yialos, the beach of Valmas, the quiet Kalamos, the wonderful beach of Agia Theodoti, the deserted Plakes, Kolitsani with the unique golden sand and Koubara with an extraordinary sunset.
The churches: Tradition has it that the churches of Ios are 365, one for each day of the year. Island’s trademark is Panagia Gkremniotissa, and higher, following the course of the hill, the Agios Eleftherios, Agios Georgios and Agios Nikolaos.
For food and drinks : Gourmet dishes at Lord Byron, for fresh fish at Drakos on the sea of Mylopota and Vilaeti at Pano Campos. Live traditional music at the kafeneio “Nios”, relaxing drinks at Click, magical atmosphere at Balsamo, rnb available in Coo, funky nights at Barmacy and mainstream music at Baru.
Tips: Don’t forget to put in your suitcase a cardigan and long pants.
A daytrip to Sikinos is highly recommended and if you have time, visit the grave of Homer in Plakoto and the traditional village in Skarkos.
photos © chrysoula papagianni